Why another book on energy, particularly from academics at Northumbria University, when past outputs have been, generally, very favourably received? The short answer is that the energy future for which we need to plan will have to be undertaken in an exceptionally different political economy of the 21st century. It may seem a contradictory starting point but, in general, the developed world and, as a consequence, the developing world, does not have a robust energy policy framework. Typically energy policy conclusions are drawn from environmental policy, such as the focus on renewables, yet environmental policy itself is not largely drawn from environmental considerations but from the requirements of market competition policy. In short, environmental policies, and the regulations and standards that follow from them are commonly drawn up to minimize unfair competition rather than address environmental concerns. Quite simply the market, however imperfect or distorted, rules.